THIRTEEN year old Arshan Bucatcat bagged the Readers’ Choice Award in the annual literary journal contest of the Ilisagvik College in the northern end town of the United States, Barrow, Alaska making her the third Filipino to win the prestigious award since its inception in 2012.
Arshan Bucatcat got 76 percent of the votes for her non-fiction story “Best Friend” for the 2017 spring edition of the Aglaun journal.
A Readers’ Choice Award is given every year to a published material that merits enough votes from the readers. Aglaun is read in eight villages in the North Slope Borough of Barrow and elsewhere in the world where the Internet is available.
Arshan joins the ranks of two other Filipinos who earlier won the Readers’ Choice Award – Pamela Balanza who won it in 2015 for her article “The Role of Women in the 19th and 20th Centuries,” and the first Filipino who became the Reader’s Choice Awardee for his 2014 essay “Living in the Cold,” former foreign affairs reporter of the Philippine based People’s Journal Romeo Morales.
Arshan, a six grader of the Hopson Middle School is a voracious reader. Just last year, the Heritage Library in Barrow (now Utqiagvik) awarded her the Reader’s Award for having read 90 books in a span of one year. A multi-talented student—she plays the piano, saxophone, the ukulele, and sings in the church choir. She also plays hockey
However, She loves reading and writing the most, wherein her likely potentials are expected to grow and develop.
She was born in Sta. Rita, Samar in the Philippines and moved with her parents to the United States when she was nine. Her mother was once a policewoman assigned at the Police Station 4 in Novaliches before becoming one of the government accountants at the North Slope Borough in Alaska.
Paul Douglas McNeill, a writer and English professor edits the Aglaun, a journal that allows writers, authors, and artists from all races and of all ages a place to publish their works. He is assisted by Moema Umann, a filmmaker from Brazil, who has an M.F.A. in directing she earned in New York. Myrna Loy Sarren, a Native American is the publication editor.